Twitter can be a very powerful networking tool. While you want to increase your amount of followers and have your Twitter profile stand out, you’ll also want to follow individuals who will comprise a useful Twitter stream of information and knowledge. Direct messages are especially useful so that you can do some of your networking behind the scenes.
But with all the spammers and self-promoters, your direct message inbox can quickly fill up with garbage links, and your Twitter stream bombarded by promises of increasing your Twitter count by 10,000 overnight.
Here are four easy ways to eliminate spam from your Twitter stream and direct message inbox:
1. Don’t use auto-follow tools
Auto-follow tools make it easy for spammers to get into your Twitter stream and direct message inbox. Instead of auto-following, you should be selective about who you follow on Twitter. If you think it takes a lot of time to visit the profile of each person who follows you, think of how much longer it would take to go back and sort through all the people you follow every couple months to eliminate the spammers!
When trying to decide who to follow back on Twitter, refer to the Top 10 Signs Not to Follow Back on Twitter. In summary, here’s what to watch out for:
- Spammy Twitter username
- Lots of followers with few tweets
- Multiple identical spammy tweets
- No replies
- No retweets
- All inspirational quotes
- Very sporadic tweets
- Missing a Twitter icon
- Only tweet the mundane
- They’re not interesting to you
2. Use lists to “follow” businesses
You don’t have to follow everyone you want to keep track of! For example, I might want to keep tabs on top brands on Twitter, such as JetBlue, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Whole Foods, but I don’t want to see their promotional tweets in my regular Twitter stream. So instead, I’ve created a Twitter list called “companies-brands” so I can keep tabs on companies when I want to without having them invade my Twitter stream.
3. Block persistent spammers
Ever get email notifications telling you that the same person has followed you again, and again, and again? Some spammers will set up lists of Twitter users to target, will flush out people who haven’t followed back, and re-follow those same users. This is spam itself, as it’s filling your actual email inbox with unwanted follow notifications. Of course, there’s an easy fix: just block these users! That way, they won’t be able to bother you any more.
4. Use follower validation tools
There are several Twitter validation tools that allow you to verify people from robots, avoid Twitter spam, and save time managing your followers. Two popular choices are TwitBlock and TrueTwit, on which you can set up a free basic account. After signing up for the basic account, all new people who follow you are sent a validation request via direct message. If you follower successfully completes a CAPTCHA, you are sent an email notifying you that you have a new (legit) follower.
What tools do you use to keep spam out of your Twittersphere?